Students are welcome to pursue any major on the path to dental school. While schools require candidates to complete certain prerequisite courses in mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics, students are encouraged to pursue additional courses in subjects of their choice. You do not need to choose a science major to be admitted into dental school.
Dentists work to diagnose, treat, and promote the health of their patients' teeth and gums. Students can select from a variety of undergraduate majors before applying to dental school.
Is this career right for you?
- Would you prefer to work in a private practice environment and keep traditional business hours?
- Do you enjoy working with your hands?
- Do you feel comfortable working with people, even those who are upset or ill at ease?
- Do you excel in science and mathematics?
- Focus on your grades; seek out tutoring or supplemental instruction when needed
- Join clubs and organizations on campus
- Attend any introductory pre-health or pre-medicine workshops or events held by departments
- Meet regularly with your professional and/or faculty advisor(s) in order to verify that you are staying on track with necessary prerequisite coursework; discuss specific pre-health advising questions with your faculty advisor
- Build a strong relationship not only with your faculty/pre-health advisor, but with other faculty members in your department; consider seeking undergraduate research opportunities with these individuals
- Continue to pursue strong grades in your courses
- Seek out volunteer opportunities within the community
- Begin to shadow physicians and make professional connections in the medical field
- Pursue leadership opportunities within the clubs/organizations in which you participate
- Continue to meet with your faculty/pre-health advisor at least once a semester to plan your degree progress and verify that you are completing all necessary medical school prerequisites
- Verify that your coursework matches the desired prerequisite coursework for the schools you wish to attend; add additional courses as needed
- Build shadowing experience; also attempt to gain experience working directly with patients, either in a work or volunteer setting
- Apply to participate in a pre-medicine committee review, if applicable
- Identify individuals to ask for letters of recommendation; these should come from faculty, pre-health advisor(s) and dentists familiar with your work ethic/ability
- Continue to seek leadership positions in clubs/organizations on campus, as well as volunteering in your community
- Begin submitting application materials between May-July (dependent on the state(s) you plan to apply to schools within)
- Continue to excel in courses taken in final year